First Year Player Draft Guide: Introduction

Welcome to Baseball Farm’s 2019 edition of the First Year Player Draft guide! The goal is to provide you with strategy articles, rankings, and player capsules on players who were either drafted in the 2018 MLB Rule 4 draft or signed during the 2018 J2 signing period. These players typically constitute the player pool for new player drafts in existing dynasty and keeper leagues.

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Pitch charting: Brady Singer (6/1 vs Jacksonville U.)

I’ve been breaking down scouting reports and tape in a final push to complete my First-Year Player Draft Guide for dynasty leagues (should be available January 1). One player that I’m having a hard time finalizing is Brady Singer. I just can’t get a read on if he’s going to stick as an SP and what his ultimate upside is there. So, thanks to YouTube, I decided to sit down and chart a full start of his to see him in more detail.

On June 1, Florida faced off against Jacksonville U in the 2nd game of the Gainesville regional. Singer took the mound for the Gators, but he was coming off an extended break from his last start (May 11) due to a lingering hamstring issue.

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What’s Happening in Houston?

It’s November, so I’m digging through 2018 seasonal data. Today, I was looking at some of the top pitching performances according to our Seasonal Pitcher Statistical Rankings, and I kept running into the same thing. Astros. Everywhere I looked there were Astros pitching prospects having great seasons:

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2018 FARMHAND CROP: Jordan Qsar

2018 1st-team All-American out of Pepperdine. Raised eyebrows with a big-time performance in the wood bat WCL in 2017. Good athlete who was a 2-way player in college. Will need to reign in the swing-and-miss in his game, which will continue to get exposed as he moves up the ladder. He’s a watchlist guy for me right now. Let him slide in the draft and follow what he does in Full Season ball in 2019.

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2018 FARMHAND CROP: Niko Decolati

Pioneer League Mid-Season All-Star rebounded from a tough spring with a strong pro debut this summer. College shortstop who played primarily in RF this year, could also handle 3B duties. He’s a quick, strong, well-coordinated athlete. Big questions about his hit tool, but his K-rate was palatable this year. If his hit tool lets him tap into his raw power, he’s a potential sleeper.

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2018 FARMHAND CROP: Drew Avans

Dodgers’ 33-round choice signed for $5k out of Southeast Lousiana. Stats and video scouting show that there is a hit tool lurking here. He’s got the ability to hit for enough power to punish mistakes. He’s probably not going to be a CF in professional ball, but range and arm are good enough for the OF. Was excellent on the basepaths in his pro debut as well. He’s got a 4th OF profile, but there’s a non-zero chance that he makes it to the majors.

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2018 FARMHAND CROP: Cal Stevenson

College bat who posted an eye-popping .511 OBP in his first taste of professional ball. Might lack the power to play a corner OF spot. His best path to fantasy relevance is to continue to be an OBP machine with good SB success rates. Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs has noted that the Blue Jays have had success with this type of profile. Ryan Noda comes to mind. Worth a late draft flier.

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